In 1941, Paul Holton, a University of Minnesota cereal chemist and biochemist graduate, managed product development in the Chicago-based US Army Quartermaster Bakery Research Division. In 1946 Paul started his own business supplying egg products, flavors, yeasts and other ingredients from major manufacturers. In the early 1950’s, empowered by his scientific background and passion for problem solving, Paul shifted his efforts to creating Holton Food Products’ own, distinct bakery ingredients.
As the US economy boomed after the war, food manufacturers and bakeries were expanding, and so was the complexity of their distribution channels. Paul saw a growing need for improved moistness, freeze-thaw stability and extended shelf life in bakery products. Through constant connection with customers and deep application knowledge, Holton Food Products developed unique, functional ingredient systems. For example, Paul’s expertise in egg and dairy technology led to the creation of freeze-thaw stable meringue and cream toppings for high speed, continuous mix systems. Thanks to these innovative ingredients, meringues and whipped toppings could retain their fresh-made quality through frozen storage and distribution for over a year. Today, Holton Food Products is the leading meringue ingredient supplier in the US, and has supplied several of its customers continuously for more than 40 years.
Under Paul’s research-driven leadership, the company solved customers’ process and product problems in confidential partnership. This scientific approach also led to the creation of more advanced ingredient systems that improved the quality of baked goods. A second generation of brothers, Paul’s sons, entered the company in the early 1980’s. Ross Holton had obtained a bakery science degree from Kansas State, and was named president of the company in 1985. Ross and his twin brother, John, would continue to drive new solutions for bakers and grow the family business for 30 more years. Ross frequently credited his talented and dedicated R&D, QA, production and office staff for the company’s success.
In 2016, after 70 years of building a sustainable legacy, the Holton brothers partnered with long-standing and successful, Connecticut-based Mantrose-Haeuser Co., Inc., a manufacturer of advanced industrial, pharma and food-grade coating products. Ross and John saw many similarities of their own company to Mantrose in its friendly culture, long term customer relationships, and dedication to research and innovation. Mantrose-Haeuser purchased Holton Food Products in February 2016, and is part of the specialty division of RPM International, based in Medina, Ohio.
Under its new leadership, Holton Food Products has augmented its R&D and business development resources, and is poised for success in this new and exciting phase of growth. The company is hard at work developing, manufacturing, and marketing products and solutions to meet the new demands of the bakery and prepared foods markets.